Living Farms: Farming cooperative Limbua Group in Kenya

The Limbua Macadamia Group started off as a pioneer in establishing small-scale farming cooperatives. In the video series ‘Living Farms’, Lin Bautze (project leader) and Philipp Wilson (camera) from the Goetheanum‘s Section for Agriculture explain the group‘s biodynamic approach.

There is more to Macadamia nuts than meets the eye: in the Limbua farming cooperative, they stand for ecological and social change. The small-scale farmers are paid enough to raise their living standard and to enable them to afford school fees. As a condition for joining the cooperative they are required to practise organic farming; since 2018, some of the farms have been working biodynamically.

'Living Farms': Limbua Group

'Living Farms': Limbua Group (Photo: Philip Wilson)

The eleven-minute film ‘The Limbua Group in the Mount Kenya Region’ illustrates how the farming practice has improved the social situation there. For the Limbua farms, organic farming does not only mean that they are encouraged to plant more trees and protect the environment, but also that they give work to unemployed family members, for instance. By processing their produce directly in the villages they guarantee freshness and make sure that the added value benefits the local community. While before, students from Germany used to sell the nuts privately, the nuts and oil are now supplied to companies such as Wala and Dr Hauschka. This scale of production is now possible because of approximately 5,000 small-scale farms (average size one hectare) working together, with a further 2,000 on the waiting list.

Participating farms are provided with seedlings and biodynamic preparations – and the aim is that the farmers themselves will sooner or later master all elements of biodynamic farming. The process includes ongoing training, the testing of competences on the farm and certification by international organizations. According to Limbua co-founder Peter Mucau Wangara, the biodynamic method “takes us back to where we come from”: the land is regenerated and the farmers can build a spiritual relationship with their farms.


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